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In the United States, the existence of the common law marriage has bugged since the early days of 1877. While it can seem to be an archaic form of the matrimony law, it is still used today in many forms in more than 10 states in the United States as well as the District of Columbia. Also, five states now recognize the common law marriages but with some legal restrictions. Let us look at some of the information about marriages under the common law , how you enter into the marriage, where it exists, and same-sex marriages under the common law.

The Common Law Marriage Definition
The common law marriage is one where the married people, usually the woman and the man, hold themselves out of the friends and family to stay together for some time. In this case, the family members, as well as the community, know that the two are married but they have never gone through a formal ceremony that or getting a marriage certificate. For most states, below is an outline of the three main requirements. The common law marriage is not enough to be validated by just staying together.
1. The two of you must stay together. However, the amount of time that validates your common marriage varies from one state to another.
2. Both of you must have the capacity and legal right to get married. Both of you must be sound minded. You must be aged above 18 years old. Both of you must not be married to any other person.
3. Both of you must be intending to get married
4. You must hold yourselves out of the family as being a couple. In this case, you must take the same last name. You must refer to each other as husband and wife to the general public. You must have joint credit cards. In the end, you must also have joint bank accounts.

States Recognizing the Common Law Marriages
The common law marriage is fully recognized in these states.
• Colorado
• Lowa
• District of Columbia
• Rhode Island
• Kansas
• Utah
• Texas
• South Carolina

States with Limited Common Law Marriage Recognition
• Idaho (If stated before date January 1, 1996)
• Georgia (If stated before date January 1, 1997)
• Pennsylvania (If stated before date January 1, 2005)
• Ohio (If stated before October date 10, 1991)
• Oklahoma (If stated before date January 1, 1998)
• New Hampshire (Only for the purpose of inheritance)

Same-Sex Common Law and Marriage
Currently, only Rhode Island, Lowa, and the Columbia District recognize the same-sex and common law marriages. Most other states are specific to this matter in the sense that only the man and woman can be legally married in the common law marriage.

What If We Were Never Married When We Stared Staying Together?
Even if you are not capacitated to be married when you first start staying together, the chances are that you may end up in the common law marriage.
This often happens when:
• You move in with a married person, and their spouse passes on when you are still staying together.
• You and your spouse separate while staying together in states that recognize the common law marriages.

The End of the Common Law
The common law marriage, once established, is just as valid as the legal marriage and formal wedding. Its end will be denoted by one partner dying or a divorce order granted by a court of law.

The strongest evidence that these partners had the intention to be married would be a formal written agreement.

Marriage laws often change. Contact a family law attorney for assistance if you have any question concerning the requirements for a common law marriage in your state. A family law advocate in your locality understands the common law marriage laws and give you the best representation in a court of law.


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